PPG CEO says Q1 operating margins 'were higher than the prior year'
"First quarter operating margins were higher than the prior year, despite a challenging global macro-economic environment and industry demand declines in certain markets. We achieved improved margins through continued selling-price initiatives. This marks the eighth consecutive quarter with improved sequential pricing," said Michael McGarry, PPG chairman and CEO. "We continued to experience cost inflation in raw materials, logistics and wages, and have additional initiatives under way to offset the cumulative impacts from this inflationary cycle. During the first quarter, we achieved strong double-digit percentage sales volume growth in our aerospace and protective and marine coatings businesses. However, our aggregate sales volumes were lower due to weaker industry demand in automotive OEM and in certain segments of general industrial coatings. In addition, our focus on margin recovery resulted in us passing on certain, modest levels of business during the quarter. We are happy to welcome SEM, Whitford and Hemmelrath to the PPG family, having now closed all three recently announced acquisitions. Our pipeline for acquisitions remains active and we continue to focus our cash deployment on maximizing long-term shareholder value," said McGarry.